3 Man Best Ball DRAFT Strategy
Drafting is one of the most exciting parts of fantasy football, and that makes Best Ball leagues on DRAFT borderline addicting. All fantasy gamers need to do is set aside a few minutes and draft their favorite players. While customizable rankings are certainly helpful, drafters need to have a plan based on the league size. Here’s a 3 Man Best Ball strategy that should give you an edge every time.
Best Balls are 18 round drafts where you fill a starting roster comprised of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, and one FLEX. This means only eight of your 18 draft picks will be used any given week. In 3 man best balls, everyone is going to have a team of studs, but there is still a massive edge to be had.
Deep RB/WR Pool
While it is tempting to stock your team with Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, and Christian McCaffrey in your first few picks, you will still only start two running backs any given week. The odds of catching their boom weeks are certainly high, but some of their big performances could be useless.
The same goes for wide receivers, as you can only start three of those and then a flex. In a Best Ball draft this shallow, there are only going to be about 21 receivers taken (seven on each team). You can still get multiple ceiling games from your low-end WR1s and WR2s, so they don’t really need to be a priority. For instance, Kenny Golladay (WR21 in 2018) had five top-12 games last season.
It makes sense to take the shallow positions first, but does that mean we should take QBs early? Seeing as how Patrick Mahomes was a unicorn last season, we’re going to leave him out of this exercise.
The best way to look at this exercise is to see how many boom weeks the quarterbacks had. The only thing that will win you a Best Ball week is a top-5 performance. Let’s take a look at how the top QBs performed last season.
Matt Ryan, last year’s QB2, only posted five games in the top-5. That means he really only contributed to your Best Ball team five times. The same goes for last year’s QB3 and QB4, Ben Roethlisberger and Deshaun Watson. So the top-3 quarterbacks only gave you 13 ceiling performances combined. Not a great return for an early-QB strategy.
If you decide to wait on quarterback, only six should come off the board at the most (three for each of your competitors). That means you’ll have the QB7-on to choose from. If we look at some of those QBs from last season, we can see that they posted 13 ceiling games just like the early round QBs. So you can literally wait until your last three picks and you can still manage elite quarterback production. Maybe JJ Zachariason is onto something… But does the same hold true for tight ends?
Shallowest Position in Fantasy
Elite tight ends are a rare breed. Life was probably hell if you had to maneuver the waiver wire last year desperately searching for a dart throw. But in these 3 man Best Ball leagues, there is no waiver wire. What you draft is what you get. Let’s see what we got from the top-3 tight ends last year.
So we got a whopping 10 top-5 games from Travis Kelce in 2018. Zach Ertz and George Kittle each threw in nine and six top-5 weeks as well. If you drafted two of these three guys, you would essentially lock in elite tight end production and not have to worry about it. But how did TEs 4-6 work out?
This group of tight ends combined for a respectable 15 top-5 games. You would have needed to take all three of these guys and you still wouldn’t have elite production locked in. And that right there is where the strategy lies.
3 Man Best Ball Strategy: Early Round TE
While it might seem crazy, fantasy gamers should draft the “Big 3” tight ends with their first three picks. Tight end is such a shallow position that the drop off from Tier 1 to Tier 2 is significant.
While going after a tight end in your early round traditionally means you’re giving up the opportunity to take an elite running back, that isn’t necessarily the case. The nature of the 3 man Best Ball league allows you to make up for that. You can still stock your roster with multiple elite backs like Melvin Gordon, David Johnson, and Nick Chubb, who will all be available after you’re locking in your tight ends.
Then while your opponents are scrambling to find their solution at tight end and quarterback in the middle rounds, you’re stocking up on guys like A.J. Green, Brandin Cooks, and Leonard Fournette. Then you can grab some undervalued dual-threat QBs like Cam Newton and Kyler Murray with your last picks.
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